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Broad Topics > Calculations and Numerical Methods > Addition & subtraction

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Number Squares

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Start with four numbers at the corners of a square and put the total of two corners in the middle of that side. Keep going... Can you estimate what the size of the last four numbers will be?

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Street Sequences

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate what happens when you add house numbers along a street in different ways.

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Calendar Patterns

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this section from a calendar, put a square box around the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th. Add all the pairs of numbers. What do you notice about the answers?

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Sending Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge asks you to investigate the total number of cards that would be sent if four children send one to all three others. How many would be sent if there were five children? Six?

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Sometimes We Lose Things

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Well now, what would happen if we lost all the nines in our number system? Have a go at writing the numbers out in this way and have a look at the multiplications table.

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It Was 2010!

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

If the answer's 2010, what could the question be?

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Prompt Cards

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

These two group activities use mathematical reasoning - one is numerical, one geometric.

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This problem is based on the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Investigate the different numbers of people and rats there could have been if you know how many legs there are altogether!

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Month Mania

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you design a new shape for the twenty-eight squares and arrange the numbers in a logical way? What patterns do you notice?

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Polo Square

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square below so that each side adds to the same total.

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Function Machines

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

If the numbers 5, 7 and 4 go into this function machine, what numbers will come out?

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Dart Target

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, invites you to explore the different combinations of scores that you might get on these dart boards.

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Ladybird Box

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Place six toy ladybirds into the box so that there are two ladybirds in every column and every row.

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Mobile Numbers

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this investigation, you are challenged to make mobile phone numbers which are easy to remember. What happens if you make a sequence adding 2 each time?

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Rabbits in the Pen

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Using the statements, can you work out how many of each type of rabbit there are in these pens?

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Hubble, Bubble

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Winifred Wytsh bought a box each of jelly babies, milk jelly bears, yellow jelly bees and jelly belly beans. In how many different ways could she make a jolly jelly feast with 32 legs?

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Painting Possibilities

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .

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A-magical Number Maze

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This magic square has operations written in it, to make it into a maze. Start wherever you like, go through every cell and go out a total of 15!

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Adding Plus

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you put plus signs in so this is true? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 99 How many ways can you do it?

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Code Breaker

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This problem is based on a code using two different prime numbers less than 10. You'll need to multiply them together and shift the alphabet forwards by the result. Can you decipher the code?

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Pouring the Punch Drink

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

There are 4 jugs which hold 9 litres, 7 litres, 4 litres and 2 litres. Find a way to pour 9 litres of drink from one jug to another until you are left with exactly 3 litres in three of the jugs.

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Arranging the Tables

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There are 44 people coming to a dinner party. There are 15 square tables that seat 4 people. Find a way to seat the 44 people using all 15 tables, with no empty places.

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Next Number

Stage: 2 Short Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Find the next number in this pattern: 3, 7, 19, 55 ...

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On Target

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

You have 5 darts and your target score is 44. How many different ways could you score 44?

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Difference

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Place the numbers 1 to 10 in the circles so that each number is the difference between the two numbers just below it.

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Dodecamagic

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?

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Prison Cells

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There are 78 prisoners in a square cell block of twelve cells. The clever prison warder arranged them so there were 25 along each wall of the prison block. How did he do it?

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Zargon Glasses

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Zumf makes spectacles for the residents of the planet Zargon, who have either 3 eyes or 4 eyes. How many lenses will Zumf need to make all the different orders for 9 families?

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Sorting the Numbers

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Complete these two jigsaws then put one on top of the other. What happens when you add the 'touching' numbers? What happens when you change the position of the jigsaws?

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X Is 5 Squares

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you arrange 5 different digits (from 0 - 9) in the cross in the way described?

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Magic Constants

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

In a Magic Square all the rows, columns and diagonals add to the 'Magic Constant'. How would you change the magic constant of this square?

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How Old?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Cherri, Saxon, Mel and Paul are friends. They are all different ages. Can you find out the age of each friend using the information?

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Exploring Wild & Wonderful Number Patterns

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

EWWNP means Exploring Wild and Wonderful Number Patterns Created by Yourself! Investigate what happens if we create number patterns using some simple rules.

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Train Carriages

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Suppose there is a train with 24 carriages which are going to be put together to make up some new trains. Can you find all the ways that this can be done?

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Two Egg Timers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

You have two egg timers. One takes 4 minutes exactly to empty and the other takes 7 minutes. What times in whole minutes can you measure and how?

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Rod Measures

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Using 3 rods of integer lengths, none longer than 10 units and not using any rod more than once, you can measure all the lengths in whole units from 1 to 10 units. How many ways can you do this?

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Sums and Differences 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?

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Spell by Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you substitute numbers for the letters in these sums?

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Christmas Shopping

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Vera is shopping at a market with these coins in her purse. Which things could she give exactly the right amount for?

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Machines

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What is happening at each box in these machines?

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Take Three Numbers

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

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The Puzzling Sweet Shop

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

There were chews for 2p, mini eggs for 3p, Chocko bars for 5p and lollypops for 7p in the sweet shop. What could each of the children buy with their money?

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Journeys

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate the different distances of these car journeys and find out how long they take.

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Sums and Differences 1

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.

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Throw a 100

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you score 100 by throwing rings on this board? Is there more than way to do it?

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A Mixed-up Clock

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There is a clock-face where the numbers have become all mixed up. Can you find out where all the numbers have got to from these ten statements?

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Zios and Zepts

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

On the planet Vuv there are two sorts of creatures. The Zios have 3 legs and the Zepts have 7 legs. The great planetary explorer Nico counted 52 legs. How many Zios and how many Zepts were there?

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Build it up More

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!

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Strike it Out for Two

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?

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Open Squares

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, focuses on 'open squares'. What would the next five open squares look like?